Since she is going to find something to whine about, you can detach from it. It isn't about your house and how clean it is, it is about her need to be a better "carer" for your DH than you are. She is never going to drop that need. So it's not personal, let it go, laugh at it with your DH.
And as for your DH, time for him to act like an adult and not a child. He needs to decide how to deal with his mothers comments rather than just accepting it all.
Hi, thanks all - its been helpful to read your thoughts - the current situation is just silly, diyqueen you are right this needs to change before dd becomes aware of it. MIL is patient in letting me endlessly go on about dd. Its not like it's really messy it's just a weird dynamic where they offer to do things they notice which I find mortifying. They do jobs for SIL which she finds helpful but they tell everyone what they've done, it's weird, I dont think its in a genuine, positive way. Well I have cleaned but I have tried to find a middle ground and haven't gone mad. Purrpurr is right too DH is being a baby - we have a baby now and he needs to help. He'd say how much he does in the garden but I think that should be shelved for now. He def has a role in this as the sly comments are made to him - he should try and stop her not just pass it on to me to get cross over. Thanks x
Its hard but one of you needs to make the first move towards getting on with each other - it must be horrible for your dh to be stuck in the middle of bitchy comments about two of the people he loves most. I sympathise about the cleaning - we're naturally messy too, PIL aren't and we've had cringe-worthy situations in the past like MIL deciding to clean our bathroom for us . Don't apologise about the house, get it to a standard you're personally happy with (like make sure the bathroom and kitchen are hygienic and there's no obvious dirt) and then you have nothing to worry about. MIL is still horrified that I don't iron most things but, well, so what?
You have an opportunity to bond over dd now, try and make the most of it. My MIL was a bit funny about breastfeeding to start with, but when I made an effort to ask her about DP as a baby it turned out that she'd had to give up breastfeeding early on. She used to ask when I'd be weaning (3 month old) dd onto porridge and formula, but these days is actually really supportive of me bf her still (at 20mo!) as we've talked about it, I've answered her questions openly and she can see dd thrives on it.
Despite your differences you have some things in common - like motherhood and of course loving your dh and dd. Try to head off any negativity with interest in her and her life, and be positive yourself. You want to get rid of the negativity and bitching before dd is old enough to notice. Try and find things that MIL can 'help' with without upsetting dd - let her push the pram out on a walk, or help bath dd, or help change a nappy, for example, or choose clothes for her (speaking from experience my MIL really appreciated this, though it was hard for me to do to start with - she baths dd every time we stay with them now and they both love it). Try to put your feelings aside for dd and dh's sake and rise above any comments, though I know it's not easy.
Sounds like your mil will find something to complain about whatever you do. With that in mind, decide what will stress you less, tidying up or not, saying something about her rude comments on your parenting or not etc.
1) Your DH sounds like a twat who is gleefully getting away with doing nothing. I'd suggest your focus needs to be squarely on him, not your MIL.
2) If the above isn't an option, then you need to NOT clean for the arrival of your MIL. Do not clean. Do as much as you would for someone that you liked - as in, think about the food you'll have in, drinks, etc. Tidy so they'll have somewhere to sit and place their glasses. The tidy should be a 20 min whip round of the living room only. Make sure you have sufficient bog roll in the loo. Get your DH to go to supermarket if needs be.
If you don't make the decision to stop cleaning/fretting/fuming about the invasion, it won't stop.
So me and MIL always been a sort of diff r'ship: nice to each other in person but we both bitch about other and DH in middle. He is PFB and no one will ever be good enough sort of thing. So my issue is this - when they come I feel like the house has to be perfect: because if it isn't they are older and of the mind set its my fault - even when working. DH does cooking and will help with dishes and kitchen but never cleans or does laundry. So DH announces on tues that mil coming tomorrow (Fri) and he's on Xmas do tonight - so all week I'm annoyed and pissy. I just hate them being here, I'm just waiting for the negativity to start. Growing up it wasn't very clean and tidy at home so I think it's a hang up from this? But I also think he knows he can get away with it - if i said sorry it's a mess but it was DHs turn to clean they'd just do it for him and bitch about it, or rather me, later. So he never has to do it. But also there's always a comment - like poor DH should be sleeping in the spare room to get his sleep - or breastfeeding is making dd too clingy.....So how do I escape this - why do I care so much to be whizzing around cleaning when they come and to be sensitive to any comments re my parenting? Why am I trying to be perfect for the inspection? I spend days of my life angry about her: why?? It's all jealousy isn't it? That I have her PFB and now DD. (MIL so pissed off when DD wants me and won't settle for her - daft woman of course she wants me). How do I get over this ??